With an 80-year pedigree of hurling razored boomerangs, rocking a spiked belt, and defending his urban turf with undaunted courage, 'Devil is one of the more underappreciated denizens of the comic universe, but that's about to change with Dynamite Comics' invigorating new miniseries reintroducing the costumed avenger, titled The Death-Defying 'Devil.
Resurrecting this charismatic hero, who came to light 20 years before Marvel's Daredevil, is Eisner Award-nominated writer Gail Simone (Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey, Red Sonja). She's joined in this revival project by her longtime artistic collaborator, Walter Geovani (Red Sonja, Clean Room), with colorist Adriano Augusto (Red Sonja/Tarzan, KISS: Blood & Stardust) and the veteran letterer Simon Bowland (Red Sonja, The Boys) joining this pulpy party — and SYFY WIRE has a sneak peek inside.
Created by Jack Binder and Jack Cole for Lev Gleason Publications and first appearing in Silver Streak #6 (September 1940), the 'Devil was actually the very first Daredevil character (unrelated to Marvel's Matt Murdock). The athletic crusader more commonly known as Bart Hill has since seen action in various Golden Age homage teamups, like Jim Krueger and Alex Ross' Project Superpowers for Dynamite in 2008.
This Twilight Zone-inspired tale finds the 'Devil beaten and bloodied in the backyard of Winslow House, a run-down apartment building in a rough neighborhood. The colorful cast of tenants take him in, and over the course of each issue they're each explored in depth. These diverse residents have their own individual issues and problems to dissect, all while a mysterious force terrorizes the complex. The 'Devil makes it his mission to solve their complex puzzles, even when he discovers that one of his new friends is a traitor.
Simone is not shy about her attraction to Golden Age characters, especially those that seem to bridge the gap between pulp adventurers and modern superheroes.
"And the ‘Devil’s look is still powerful, it still looks contemporary without modification, which is very rare with costumes of that era," Simone tells SYFY WIRE. "He’s a tough guy, a brawler, he’s bad news for bad people. I adore that about him. I love that his powers are that he’ll punch your damn lights out if you need a bruising. It’s a powerful change of pace from the talky and mannered characters of today. Just a guy who’ll knock your death out, and then go home and sleep like a baby. That’s fun to write.
"Moreover, this is taking a guy like that, a genuinely tough, no-frills guy, and dropping him directly into the Twilight Zone. I had a blast writing this, and having it be Walter Geovani’s first superhero book, I LOVE being part of that."
An inspired squad of artists are contributing variant covers to this supercharged series, including Riccardo Federici (Aquaman, Dark Nights Metal); Tyler Kirkham (Deathstroke, Green Lantern); Ben Oliver (American Carnage); Lucio Parillo (Vampirella, Red Sonja); and In-Hyuk Lee (Black Order, Spider-Geddon). A Project Superpowers throwback cover showcases Alex Ross' striking depiction.
“The Death-Defying ‘Devil is one of my most favorite characters that we’ve ever published. We knew we had to wait for a writer of Gail’s boundless caliber before launching a new series,” said Dynamite CEO Nick Barrucci in a statement. “To reunite her with Walter and debut his first ever superhero work just sealed the deal on what will be an exciting series for fans!”
Slice into our exclusive preview at Dynamite's The Death-Defying 'Devil #1 in the full gallery below, then express your interest for this potent project and tell us whether you'll swing into the series when it debuts August 7.